At Opening of Dallas Murder Trial, Defense Pins Partial Blame on The First 48
Sometime late in the night of September 3, 2008, prosecutors say The Colony resident Seth Winder, then 29, murdered his lover, dismembered his body, and hauled the pieces out to the dumpster of the victim's North Dallas apartment complex.
Richard Hernadez's friends at Walmart on Frankford and Marsh in Far North Dallas, where he'd worked for more than a decade, knew something was up when he missed his second day of work. When they called in a welfare check, police discovered a crime scene that looked, in the words of the responding Dallas Police patrolman, like a scene out of a Stephen King novel. They also discovered that this crime scene lacked a body and a murder weapon. But they were able to place Winder, a homeless man with a history of severe mental illness, at the apartment complex in the days leading up to and following the murder. They could also match the blood spattered on Winder's clothing to a DNA sample belonging to Hernandez.
All the while, cameraman from the hit A&E police procedural show The First 48 shadowed investigators. During his opening statement in a Denton County courtroom Tuesday, Minder defense attorney Derek Adame claimed the cameras gave the police detectives tunnel vision. "Everything the police detectives did was to get a lead in 48 hours, not to find the killer," Adame told the jury. The detectives, he charged, wanted to be on TV so desperately that they deliberately ignored other leads so that the case would fit the show's format.
Among pornographic home videos of Hernandez and Winder is the presence of an unidentified man, Adame said. Could he have been behind the grisly murder?
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